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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Traction control and stability control are included on all 2008 Porsche 911 models except the GT3
The GT2 uses a specially tuned version of Porsche's stability-control system
Car and Driver
All-disc antilock brakes and six airbags
The 2008 Porsche 911 hasn’t been run into a wall intentionally by the government or by the insurance industry, but there’s no lack of safety gear in each one.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have passed on testing the 911, most likely because it’s a low-volume production car with a high price tag.
Nonetheless, the 911 comes outfitted with all sorts of modern safety gear. Cars.com reviewers note that "all-disc antilock brakes and six airbags--including seat-mounted side-impact airbags and head airbags that emerge from the windowsills--are standard" on the 2008 Porsche 911. Edmunds reviewers add that "traction control and stability control are included on all 2008 Porsche 911 models except the GT3," and the ultra-high-performance GT2 "uses a specially tuned version of Porsche's stability-control system," according to Car and Driver. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate high praise for the stability system, which ForbesAutos says "feels like a partner in driving fun instead of a big brother, working with the 911 so well that you can keep it turned on and let it enhance the experience."
Other than the standard safety features present on the Porsche 911, there is very little offered in the way of safety options. ConsumerGuide finds that a "rear-obstacle-detection system" is available on all 911 Porsche models except for the GT3 variants, and that system represents the full extent of available safety options. Aside from that, drivers have the option of turning the stability control off if they are feeling adventurous and want a purer driving experience.
The 2008 Porsche 911 is, in many ways, one of the best sportscars on the planet. However, when it comes to driver visibility, some problems arise on the Porsche 911 Targa models. On those versions, ForbesAutos says that "rear visibility while backing up with the top open can be challenging due to the darkly tinted glass and because of the way the retracted panel doubles up against the rear window." Visibility with the top up in the Porsche 911 Cabriolet models is likewise impaired, but on both the Cabriolet and the Targa models, the poor rear visibility can be mitigated by the aforementioned rear obstacle detection system that is available as an option.
The 2008 Porsche 911 has an excellent suite of electronic stability aids and a full complement of airbags, but no crash-test scores.